Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to retire on January 31.
In a statement, Ballmer said the retirement was a “time to celebrate our accomplishments together”.
“Our work has not been easy and we have made many mistakes, but it has also been a great journey,” Ballmer added.
“I know that my family, my friends and my colleagues have helped me along the way and will be proud of me as I step into a new chapter of my life.”
Ballmer’s retirement comes amid a wave of shake-ups at the company.
Last month, Microsoft acquired software company JetBrains and announced it would buy social media platform Facebook for $2.2bn.
Earlier this month, the company announced a deal with LinkedIn to buy the social network.
Ballmer’s exit is likely to further strain the relationship between Microsoft and its large corporate customers, particularly the US government, and is likely in line with a number of US government and political targets, including the White House.
It is unclear how long Ballmer will remain CEO.
He has said in the past that he will not retire until the end or he is “dead”.
Baller has led Microsoft for 25 years, having first joined the company in 1989.